30 Aug / ERC typical last minute mistakes

The days before an ERC deadline can be hectic and the electronic submission system is not as intuitive and friendly as one may expect. In this post you will find a list of typical “last minute” technical mistakes to avoid, based on our experience.

Project title and acronym

These tend to change as the PI progresses with the project preparation (e.g. better title or acronym or change of scope that results with different title and acronym).  The project title and acronym appear in several places in the application and once changed, the PI should remember to change them everywhere. The typical mistake is to neglect this and not change the project name and acronym in the following places:

  • Header or footer of the documents (both in B1 and in B2)
  • The proposal text itself (in case there are references in the text to the title and acronym)
  • The electronic submission system
  • The host support letter

Host support letter

Your host institution should produce this letter for you, with official signature and official stamp. Once you have it, you should upload the letter to the electronic submission system with your ERC application. There are two typical mistakes which we see often in that respect:

  • The project title and acronym are not up to date. In most cases this is the result of changing the project title and/or acronym by the PI without notifying the institution about it.
  • The scan of the letter is not in high quality and it is hard to read it.

Final housekeeping

Before submitting the final version of the application it is essential to make sure that the application documents are in the best possible shape. The typical mistakes in that context are the following:

  • Problems when converting the documents to PDF format – do not leave this to the last minute. Check this few days before the deadline.
  • Low resolution figures – these might not be converted well to PDF.
  • Formatting issues and problems – these may have to do with the editor that you are using (Word/Latex/Open Office) or the operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux).
  • Tracked changes that were not accepted (or rejected)
  • Template instructions leftovers – make sure to delete all of these.

Allocate time ahead to do the final housekeeping of the application documents. Do not leave this to the last minute.

Good luck with your application!

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By Yoram Bar-Zeev in ERC posts, Our blog